The sad news that Stan Lee has died (opens in new tab) inevitably brings grief, but also a chance to look back on a career and life that has enriched so many of us. It’s not just the thousands of fans he had around the world, either. The likes of the Avengers: Infinity War (opens in new tab) directors, much of the MCU, and beyond have paid tribute to a man who has been described as a “genius”.
While he’s more recently been known for his amazing movie cameos, the man who helped create Marvel Comics in the 1960s was, as many of the MCU stars’ tributes can attest, a powerful force for good behind the scenes, too. It’s the sign of a universally beloved figure that each tribute is wholly unique yet shares a common thread: Stan Lee lived his life well, and treated others with his generosity of spirit.
You were a man before your time… now it feels like you are gone before your time. RIP Stan the Man… thanks for the laughs and words of support. It’s a honor to live in your universe! #MarvelKnight pic.twitter.com/1TXdPqUB3xNovember 12, 2018
There will never be another Stan Lee. For decades he provided both young and old with adventure, escape, comfort, confidence, inspiration, strength, friendship and joy. He exuded love and kindness and will leave an indelible mark on so, so, so many lives. Excelsior!!November 12, 2018
Saddened to learn about the passing of Stan Lee. From watching Marvel films with friends in college to having the privilege to take on one of his characters in @BlackPanther, Stan’s creative genius sparked my imagination & left me in awe. His legacy will carry on. #StanLeeForever pic.twitter.com/z6FEnv6tLvNovember 13, 2018
RIP Stan Lee ! You’re a legend my friend #rip #stanlee https://t.co/k0CRqjjjdANovember 12, 2018
We’ve lost a creative genius. Stan Lee was a pioneering force in the superhero universe. I’m proud to have been a small part of his legacy and …. to have helped bring one of his characters to life. #StanLee #Wolverine pic.twitter.com/iOdefi7iYzNovember 12, 2018
Kevin Feige and Joss Whedon, both hugely instrumental in shaping the MCU in their own way, have also shared the tremendous impact Stan Lee had on the pair of them.
No one has had more of an impact on my career and everything we do at Marvel Studios than Stan Lee. Stan leaves an extraordinary legacy that will outlive us all. Our thoughts are with his daughter, his family, and his millions of fans. #ThankYouStan #Excelsior!November 12, 2018
Stan Lee created a universe where, if a character was beloved enough, they could never really die.Now THAT’S thinking ahead. Thanks for so much of my life. You’ll never not be in it.November 12, 2018
And it’s not just limited to comics. Spider-Man PS4 (opens in new tab) voice actor Yuri Lowenthal felt Stan himself summed up the situation best: Excelsior!
I have hesitated to tweet about Stan Lee dying today because I couldn’t find the words. Thankfully, he gave us one: Excelsior. ‘Nuff said.November 13, 2018
While Hideo Kojima tweeted several tributes, including a Stan Lee action figure he’s proudly shown off before:
pic.twitter.com/BAIe0uM4tVNovember 13, 2018
On Instagram, too, tributes were left by some of the brightest Marvel stars, including Robert Downey Jr., Tom Holland, and Chris Pratt.
A photo posted by @robertdowneyjr on Nov 12, 2018 at 11:26am PST
How many millions of us are indebted to this guy, none more so than me. The father of Marvel has made so many people so incredibly happy. What a life and what a thing to have achieved. Rest in peace Stan ✌️ (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by @tomholland2013 on Nov 12, 2018 at 11:54am PST
Thanks for everything Stan Lee! What a life, so well lived. I consider myself extraordinarily lucky to have gotten to meet you and to have played in the world you created. 🙏♥️ chris pratt (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by @prattprattpratt on Nov 12, 2018 at 4:23pm PST
A photo posted by @therussobrothers on Nov 12, 2018 at 11:50am PST
Leave it to Thanos himself, Josh Brolin, to pen one of the most loving, heartfelt tributes.
Stan Lee and Dr. Seuss and Ray Bradbury. That’s where it begins and ends with me. To those of us who have been so deeply affected by the humanity of his imagination, the understanding of reaching beyond our potential and the necessity of tapping into our immeasurable imaginations, we thank you and are forever indebted. Rest In Peace Dear Stan. You made our time here a better one. #ripstanlee @robliefeld Josh Brolin (opens in new tab)
A photo posted by @joshbrolin on Nov 12, 2018 at 11:10am PST
Of course, Stan Lee’s reach wasn’t just tied to Marvel. Seth Rogen, Jamie Lee Curtis, and Mark Hamill can count themselves among the many, many millions forever influenced by the comic creator’s work and legacy.
Thank you Stan Lee. For your service in protecting our freedom and for your creativity and imagination! You were and will always be a SUPER HERO! pic.twitter.com/d1qpuImyzQNovember 12, 2018
Thank you Stan Lee for making people who feel different realize they are special.November 12, 2018
His contribution to Pop Culture was revolutionary & cannot be overstated. He was everything you hoped he would be & MORE. I loved this man & will never stop missing him. They say you should never meet a childhood idol. They are wrong. #RIPStanTheMan pic.twitter.com/6OKH07ahJgNovember 12, 2018
Thank you, Stan. For everything.
pic.twitter.com/dTdDjRvXbsNovember 12, 2018
It may have been a small part of his legacy, but these Stan Lee cameos (opens in new tab) will never fail to make us laugh and smile. And that’s what he wanted ’til the very end.